NEW DELHI: Online media is a murky world, for many people, hidden behind the veil of internet, accomplish a certain goal of pulling another person down by producing an offensive or provocative post.
Troll: 1) noun – a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post. 2) verb – make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
‘Trolling’, as mentioned above, is not a new trend, as political leaders have, time and again, taken to public rallies to spew venom at opposition parties. But when this trolling takes the form of memes on the social media, it makes the already-murky world a bit more murkier.
Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) owe a lot of their popularity to the presence of evangelists on Twitter, he is no stranger to be on the receiving end of trolls.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took to Twitter, on Friday morning, and posted a rather offensive tweet, quite apparently a dig at Prime Minister Modi.
The meme posted by Digvijaya had a picture of Prime Minister Modi with text next to it that read, “Mere do achievements 1) Bhakton ko Ch** banaya 2) Ch*** ko Bhakt banaya.”
Singh added a caveat to his post by saying, “Not mine but couldn’t help posting it. My apologies to the person concerned. He is the best in the art of fooling!”
For the uniniated, the ‘bhakts’ here refer to the followers of Prime Minister Modi, another offensive attribute given by social media.
Years back, however, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, he held social media capable of bringing about many a social change.
“It is important for us to expand our definition of what constitutes the social media. To me it is not just about Twitter and Facebook. For instance, I am amazed at how YouTube as a medium of video sharing has made e-Learning accessible to so many people. Or when I look at an application like WhatsApp and how simple it is to use, one begins to appreciate the power of this medium. Often the first reports when a disaster strikes or an unfortunate incident happens, are received via one of these social media channels. I see the real power of the social media come through, during such moments of crisis. Recently during the Uttarakhand disaster I was pleasantly surprised at the positive role played by the social media in bringing home news of the missing to their loved ones,” the then chief minister said in 2013, in an exclusive conversation with ANI.
When further asked about “one of the biggest complaints of the social media – what many people call ‘trolling'”, he said, “Our culture is known for its long standing traditions of respecting our elders and our scholars. In the same vein, we worship and celebrate Women’s Power as Shakti. Expressing one’s opinion on the social media, does not imply, that we abandon our culture and value systems. Our conduct at home, offices and schools, is based on certain well appreciated norms of mutual respect and dignity. The same ought to apply to our conduct on the social media as well.”
There’s political enmity, and there’s a political responsibility, and as Prime Minister Modi had, in 2013, said: “We have to listen, appreciate and respect that sentiment, which is being expressed through the social media. Today scores of Indians have mobile phones. Even a simple thought expressed through the mode of a SMS can travel far and wide, in a matter of minutes, through multiple sharing. We must harness all possibilities that are out there in the public domain.”